The students of Notre Dame University in Indiana are calling for WiFi filters to block pornography on public WiFi hotspots at the university. The campaign has attracted more than 1,000 signatures and now Enough is Enough has added its backing to the campaign.

Pressure Mounting on WiFi Hotspot Providers to Implement Content Controls

There have been calls for coffee shops, restaurants, and other providers of WiFi filters to block pornography. One campaign targeting Starbucks has recently proven to be successful. A campaign led by the pressure group Enough is Enough helped to convince the global coffee shop chain to finally implement WiFi filters to block pornography, albeit more than two years after the initial promise was made. A similar campaign in 2016 resulted in WiFi filters being implemented in McDonalds restaurants.

This week, Enough is Enough has issued a fresh call for the use of WiFi filters to block pornography, this time at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Support for University of Notre Dame Students Demanding WiFi Filters to Block Pornography

In October 2018, Jim Martinson, a student at the University of Notre Dame, launched a campaign calling for the University to implement a WiFi filter to block pornography on campus.  The university cannot stop students from using their own devices and data to view adult content, but Martinson believes the university should not be allowing students to freely use its WiFi networks to view pornographic material on campus.

Jim Martinson’s campaign has gathered considerable support. After writing a letter to the university from the men of Notre Dame, to which 80 fellow male students added their names, a similar letter was written by Ellie Gardey. Gardey’s letter was signed by 68 female students at the university.

In Jim Martinson’s letter to the university from the men of Notre Dame, he cites a previous university survey, conducted in 2013, which revealed 63% of male students had viewed pornography on the WiFi network of the university. That figure is in line with various national surveys that showed 64% of men and 18% of women at colleges spend at least some time each week viewing pornography. National research indicates that each month, 86% of men have at least some interactions with pornographic material. Martinson also points out that pornography has already been declared a public health crisis in five states due to the harm it causes and that the university needs to take action to protect students.

Since the letters were written, the campaign has gathered more than 1,000 signatures from staff and students. Yet even with widespread approval for university WiFi filtering, nothing has yet been done to accommodate the request.

Enough is Enough Launches its Own Campaign to Pressure the University to Take Action

Enough is Enough has now launched its own campaign to pressure the university into responding to the request and has given its backing to the Notre Dame porn free WiFi campaign.

“By implementing a filtered WiFi solution, the University of Notre Dame can stand as a leader among colleges and universities to ensure the safety of its students, faculty and others,” Explained EIE President and CEO, Donna Rice Hughes. “Having a policy prohibiting porn or sexually explicit material is not enough – taking concrete action to prevent its access is the only viable solution. Filtered WiFi will also prevent predators from accessing child pornography utilizing the University’s WiFi and flying under the radar of law enforcement.”

Blocking objectional and illegal web content is just one of the reasons why educational institutions may consider implementing a filtered WiFi solution. There are several other important reasons for exercising some control over what can happen on WiFi networks, the most important of which relates to cybersecurity. A WiFi filter not only allows certain categories of web content to be blocked, it will also prevent students from accessing phishing websites and sites known to harbor malware.

Universities and other educational institutions are being targeted by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data, access computers for cryptocurrency mining, and to install ransomware which encrypts entire networks and holds computer systems and data to ransom. In March 2021, the FBI issued a joint alert with DHS-CISA warning of a ransomware campaign specifically targeting the education sector using Pysa ransomware, although the Pysa gang is only one of the many threat groups targeting education.

Regardless of the categories of content that are blocked – pornography, gambling, hate speech etc. – a WiFi filter should be used to block these very real cyber threats. WiFi filters include blacklists of known malicious websites and will prevent access to malicious content to protect the WiFi network itself, and any individual who connects to it., and will create a safe and secure WiFi network for all staff and students to use.

WebTitan Cloud for WiFi – A Simple but Powerful WiFi Filtering Solution

TitanHQ has developed an easy-to-use WiFi filtering solution that is ideal for use in educational institutions. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi can be used to prevent WiFi users from accessing harmful, malicious web content that steals sensitive information or is used to distribute malicious software such as malware and ransomware. malicious content will be automatically blocked, and other blacklists will block access to illegal content such as child pornography and copyright-infringing downloads. The WiFi filter can also be used to block access to content by a specific URL or domain, category of website, keywords, or keyword density. It is also possible to block downloads of specific file types.

Highly granular controls prevent overblocking of web content and allow universities and other educational institutions to restrict access to certain types of web content with precision, such as blocking pornography without blocking educational content of a sexual nature.

WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is a cloud based solution that can be used to protect and restrict access to web content for multiple access points, even if those access point are distributed widely geographically. All of the access points can be controlled via a single, intuitive web-based user interface.

Being 100% cloud based, the solution requires no hardware or software, the cost per user is low, and the filtering controls are highly accurate. The solution provides coverage of Alexa’s top 1 million most visited websites, supports blacklists such as the child pornography/child abuse blacklist maintained by the Internet Watch Foundation, and allows 53 categories of website to be blocked with a click of a mouse.

Why WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is an Ideal WiFi Filter for Universities

  • Provides protection from phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks via the web
  • No software installations or hardware required.
  • Central control of multiple routers.
  • No restrictions on the number of users connected to the service.
  • Easy to use solution that requires no training
  • Scalable to hundreds of thousands of WiFi users
  • Customizable reports on network usage and traffic
  • No latency
  • No bandwidth restrictions.
  • Easy integration with other systems through APIs
  • Range of hosting options: WebTitan Cloud, Private cloud, or within your own data center
  • World-class customer support

For further information on WebTitan Cloud for WiFi, to book a product demonstration, or to sign up for a free trial to see the solution in action in your own environment, contact the TitanHQ team today.